Monday, September 28, 2009

London: Days One & Two

Shortly after my whirlwind trip to Malta, we all packed up and went to London to see my sister Colleen graduate from university. And to see a bit of the town of course.

The day after arriving we decided to spend some time in Kensington Gardens. My dad thought it would be nice to rent a paddle boat for a bit. So we found the rental area and got Marion suited up in a lifejacket.

And then we found out why he wanted to rent the paddle boat. Look at the pure joy on his face at getting out of hard labor.

Of course Marion loved the ride. Dad enjoyed his relaxtion time.

And my sisters, Colleen and Erin, worked up a sweat trying to chase the ducks per Marion's instructions.

My mom and I did a bit of shopping during their boat ride and found food for the geese. So that was our next stop.

This goose didn't seem to understand Marion's technique. We realized why later; most people were feeding the geese from their hands.

We continued our walk around the gardens and found our way to the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain.

We spent some time there relaxing.

Some more than others.

During our walk we saw some signs advertising a Peter Pan play.

We called and got some tickets for it for that afternoon, mentioning that we had a three month old infant with us. "No problem", the ticket agent said, "she doesn't need a ticket."

So we killed some time around the gardens until it was playtime. We walked over to the play tent, got our tickets, and went to find our seats. One person checked our tickets and waved us through. Then, we were stopped by a second person.

"Excuse me, I need to see a ticket for the infant", the woman said, motioning to three month old Betti asleep in her baby carrier.

"I'm sorry, what? She's three months old?!"

"Everyone needs a ticket."

Dad stepped in, "We were told she wouldn't need a ticket. She's three months old. If you aren't going to let us in, we want a full refund."

So yes, the people running this Peter Pan play expected us to pay for a full price children's ticket for a sleeping infant.

Now I know what you are thinking. Big deal Meghan! Why didn't you guys just pay for the ticket? How bad could it possibly have been?!

Ladies and Gents, here you go. They wanted us to pay 35£ for Betti to sleep through the performance on my lap. 35£!?!?

Yea, we got the hell out of there. And then the manager tried to sell that this was something typical in England.

I've checked with my English friends and that is baloney! I understand everyone needing a ticket, but you don't need to force people to buy a ticket. Just print out a ticket for infants! It really is that simple. But they wanted none of that- 35£ or no show for you! Silly really, they lost a total sale of six tickets because they wanted a ticket for Betti.

Ah, their loss. Marion was sad for a bit but we sold her on swimming at the hotel. She really is pretty easy to please.

So off to the hotel we went for some swimming and resting.

The next day was my sister Colleen's graduation day.

Marion wanted a hat of her own.

Then we settled in on our balcony (aka the children's section) for the ceremony.

They started off the ceremony with the following:
We welcome all of the families here today. However, parents, please mind your children. If they become disruptive or loud, please take them away.
Which basically meant we spent the entire ceremony in fear. Marion has not mastered her indoor voice yet and is a social butterfly who loves to talk and play. Therefore, disruptive. When this didn't work,

Brian took her to the hallway where he spent most of the ceremony.

I found all of this quite funny considering a lot of the guests (including graduate's parents) spent the ceremony in an adjoining room watching the ceremony via closed circuit TV. Concern about the kids getting out of control but you aren't going to make sure that the parents who paid the bills get to see their kids graduate in person?

Anyway, we did our part and I'm pretty sure we didn't piss anyone off!

We were all able to see Colleen walk despite being on "Operation Keep Marion Quiet". She graduated, mission accomplished!

Celebration was that night with Day Three in London the next day.

To be continued...


Hoppy said...

I must say, I so enjoyed the boat ride and the nap..... very relaxing!!!! Great pictures! Love to all!

grammie said...

Great Blog post Megs ! So happy to revisit that wonderful fam trip.

And you are right...Daddy so enjoyed being the passenger in
the boat. So funny :)